Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring, it's On!

What can I say, spring is truly and finally here, and it just doesn't get much better than this. Beauty everywhere you look and trying to eliminate all the possibilities and settle on just one to paint is a tough job...but I'll take it.

Yesterday I went out to what is becoming one of my favorite places to paint close by, Reid's Orchard and my friend Katie's home.

It was a nice day, a little windy, clouds coming and going and the sun when it appeared was like an atom bomb lighting up all the colors everywhere. I picked this view that included an end of Katie's house, the pink blooming dogwood, the old maple tree, and a glimpse of the sky and clouds.

















"Spring Blooms"
12"x16" oil on linen panel
plein air

Tractor

I was visiting my mom on Easter and it was a beautiful spring day, so I reckoned it was as good a time as any to do a painting. I had my gear in the truck and decided to pull over by the 4320 John Deere tractor that was over by the garden.

I think I've found a subject I want to continue painting...old tractors. Living where I do, there is no problem finding subject matter.

















"John Deere 4320"
9"x12" oil on panel
plein air

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Web Site

I've started a new website tonight. It's barely up and walking yet, but thought I'd share what I've got so far.
I hope, between my blog, facebook, and a website, I should reach more people with my work.
We'll see, I'm learning as I go on every bit of this, from my art, to becoming an artist, to the business side of it (which I reluctantly undertake).

Here's where to go: Todd Derr Fine Art


Thanks for all your support as I keep growing as an artist.

Plein Air At The Studio Tour

The Owensboro Art Guild hosted a studio tour of several member artist's studios recently. One of the locations was at Katie Lowing's home at Reid's Orchard and that was where I was stationed with my plein air gear and also set up a tent with my finished work. While there I painted two pieces during the course of the day, and a more beautiful day I couldn't have imagined.















"Katie's House and Dogwood"
9"x12" oil on linen panel
plein air  
SOLD 






















"Plein Air Joe"
12"x9" oil on panel
plein air

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Springtime at the Orchard

Today I joined a few of my painting buddies to paint the blooming spring colors out at Reid's Orchard, here in Owensboro, KY.

I also wanted to try my hand at painting really small, so both of these are on 4"x6" oil primed panels.

Here is the first one I did of the peach trees in bloom. Thankfully this cold snap we just had didn't seem to affect them.















"Peaches in Bloom"
4"x6" oil on panel
plein air



This last one I did because I was attracted to the bright afternoon sunlight beaming in between the boards of a door to one of the barns I had been painting near. I was standing in the shade of a roof on this side of the barn, so I tried to downplay any contrast in this area so the intensity and contrast were at the far side door. My camera isn't doing a very good job of depicting the actually color and value of this painting...it's too much of a blue cast to it.















"Through the Barn"
4"x6" oil on panel
plein air









Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Two From Wyoming

Not unlike many people, I really like the work of Scott Christensen. He paints and lives in an area of the world that I truly love and his work inspires me to try to paint those areas, even if I have to rely on my photos from previous trips and memories...

Starting with these two paintings I have changed up my color palette and got as close as I could to the one Scott lists on his website. He uses Vasari brand paints and has also a custom set of premixed warm and cool grays. I don't have those....yet! I put my set together from what I already had on hand and a few colors I picked up at my local Dick Blick. I'm giving Utrecht artist's oil a try, along with my Gamblin and Winsor & Newton for the Bright Red (Pyrrol pigment).

So far I'm pretty excited with the results and looking forward to taking them into the field with me and see if I can adapt them to my local landscape.

Both of these are from photos I took on a trip in 2012 with my family to visit Wyoming.

















"Morning Light on Mt. Moran"
9"x12" oil on linen panel
studio






















"From Atop Signal Mountain"
16"x12" oil on linen panel
studio

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sketchbook from Florida Trip

My wife and I went down to Florida to help out her parents and while there for a few days, I went out and did some sketches in my watercolor sketchbook. These are a lot of fun to do...since I took the pressure off myself to make anything good. Just quick marks with a black ink pen and immediate watercolor washes.











Work From the 1st Brush of Spring Paint Out

I spent 4 days, 3 of them painting, in New Harmony, IN for the 1st Brush of Spring Paint Out competition.
This was my first time there and also the largest event I have entered to date.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself, staying completely immersed in painting from sunrise to sunset and meeting other artists and admiring their work. This won't be my last time there, for sure.

Here are the works I did in chronological order from the first to last. I don't have the painting I did for the Quick Draw, as it was purchased before I got a decent photo of it.





















"Sycamore and Roofless Church"
7"x5" oil on panel
plein air
















"Green Cabin"
5"x7" oil on panel
plein air


















"Wall of Shadows"
8"x10" oil on panel
plein air
















"Sunrise Fields"
12"x16" oil on panel
plein air





















"Flood Along The Road"
10"x8" oil on panel
plein air

















"Wabash Floodwaters"
8"x10" oil on panel
plein air

















"Sunrise In New Harmony"
12"x16" oil on panel
plein air

















"Red Wagons Red Barns"
8"x10" oil on panel
plein air

















"A Hill of Cows"
8"x10" oil on panel
plein air

















"Waterfall"
5"x7" oil on panel
plein air
















"Pond Reflections"
5"x7" oil on panel
plein air

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

1st Brush of Spring Paint Out

I'm herein New Harmony, IN. for the 1st Brush of Spring Paint Out competition. The event is put on by The Hoosier Salon and the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association.

I will be updating this tomorrow. I'm plum worn out from a 900 mile drive from Florida yesterday and today's initial paintings, I did 3 small works that I'll post photos of after I get better pics of them tomorrow.

Stay tuned as I will post the days events up to the conclusion and awards on Saturday.

I also have the sketches that I did while in Florida that I need to post up here soon.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Rain Kept Me In Today

I'll take this rain. Hoping winter is soon a distant memory.

Today I had a few projects around the house to do and I also made myself a wet panel carrier which I will post about soon. That left me a little time to squeeze in a studio painting that I worked from some of my Wyoming photos. This spot is just outside of Lander, WY. on a hillside from which I'd watch the sunrise.
















"The Predawn Moon Over Wyoming"
           5"x7" oil on panel
                   studio
                    $95
   

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

An Afternoon Quick Study

I had to run over to Henderson, KY today to drop off a painting for an upcoming show, A Fresh Perspective.

While there I figured I might as well find a spot to paint and immediately thought of Audubon Park. I only had about an hour to work before I needed to get back home and meet my kids getting off the school bus.

I decided to work small and used one of my freshly made 5"x7" oil primed panels.

It was an overcast day with a few sprinkles here and there, which makes it nice for painting I think. I set up on a bank of the lake with some interesting trees and the reflections from the far side even though there is no green yet.















    "Overcast Reflections"
        5"x7" oil on panel
              plein air
                 $95

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Frog Pond Plein Air

Went out this morning to the Rudy Mine Trails of Ben Hawes Park here in Owensboro. It was a picture perfect morning and I intended to find something perfect to make a picture.

I slung my pack onto my back and carried my french easel and took off down a trail to find that elusive vista to capture on canvas. After walking about 3/4 mile or so, I came to a large open field and was thinking about possibilities there, then, off in the distance and down a valley I could hear a chorus of frogs. My signal that spring is finally here and I went down to their pond...it turned out to be more of a marsh, but it works.

video 

I found a spot in the shade of a stand of trees and honeysuckle that afforded me a view of the morning sun illuminating the marsh grass and cattails. A few sycamores in the middle distance served to balance the composition nicely.
















 "Morning at the Frog Pond"
   9"x12" oil on linen panel
               plein air
                $245



Here are some shots from the scene.



























































Sunday, March 30, 2014

First Plein Air of Spring

Finally had a chance to get outside and paint. These last few weeks of winter hanging on had me in a funk. So, the best way to get out of that funk was to seek some sunshine and search for a subject to paint.

It took me a while to find something, thanks to the intense bright light and very little to no color still surrounding us. I entered Yellow Creek Park here in Daviess Co, KY. and walked the hiking trail that meanders through the woods and along the muddy Yellow Creek.

There are several old, large trees in the park and some are either dead or barely hanging on to life. Today I picked this old oak tree to honor it's existence.






















     "I'm Still Standing"
  9"x12" oil on linen panel
              plein air
                $245



Here are some shots from my cell photo of the spot I painted.





















Thursday, March 13, 2014

Rockport Rampage Cyclocross Watercolors

I have painted a few more watercolors from the Rockport Rampage cyclocross that is held in Rockport, IN.

What began as me just going over for the first one back in January to do some sketching on site has led to me making new friends, especially with the promoter of the race and we have agreed to use my watercolors (as a print from the original) to be used for the podium awards. Totally has me stoked!

So, these are some fresh works made from photo references taken during the last race in the snow and from the previous race.



















           "Rampage #4"
         5"x7" watercolor
                 $75




















          "Rampage #3"
        5"x7" watercolor
                $75




















"Rampage #5"
5"x7" watercolor SOLD 


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Down By The River

Spent way too much time trying to find a spot to paint today. I started out in town and kept thinking I wanted to do an urban snow scene. I went to the top of the parking garage, I went all around downtown, I went back little dead end streets, all leaving me wanting...or I just wasn't feeling it?

So, I ended up driving out of town and down to the river to a spot I have painted before in the spring. Right now the river is up to flood stage and about to come over the bank. It makes for an interesting perspective of the towboats that are now nearly up to eye level, when normally you don't see anything but the pilothouse and radar antenna.

This is a pretty simple scene, so I wanted to really execute on my values and subdued color. The foreground snow was put in almost entirely with palette knife layers.





















"Flood Stage and Frozen Field"
   9"x12" oil on linen panel
                $245




And here are some photos of the spot I painted.